Vol. 50, No. 1

In this edition

Abraham Lincoln once called education the “most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” In recent years, education has also been a subject that has fallen victim to partisan gridlock and political dysfunction. The recent enactment of a plan to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act was a victory over […]

The Challenge of Our Time

Make no mistake: ISIS has declared war on Western Civilization. In the wake of the Paris attacks, the downing of a Russian passenger jet, and the mass-shooting in San Bernardino, the world can no longer deny the very real global reach of ISIS and the imminent danger it poses to us all if it is […]

Ohio: A Sure Bet as Battleground and Bellwether

Ohio is both a battleground and bellwether for presidential elections. It is highly competitive and carries a relatively large electoral vote prize for presidential aspirants. It is also a perennial predictor of presidential elections.

How to Say Goodbye

“And then we’ll teach them how to say goodbye,” is how George Washington depicted the writing of his Farewell Address in the rap musical Hamilton. Of course, he already knew how to say goodbye. He’d mastered that act in 1783 when he’d retired as commander in chief following the American Revolution.

The Every Student Succeeds Act & What Lies Ahead

While the recent rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act got many things right, even those who regard it as a clear conservative triumph have noted that it’s no more than three-quarters of a loaf.

Bridging the Economic School Divide

The flight of wealthy students from public to private schools is a constitutional right of families. But according to this education expert, it’s also a cause for concern.

Earning While You’re Learning Through Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a proven way to help people develop in-demand skills and to meet the needs of employers, yet they comprise just 0.2% of the nation’s workforce.

Jobs for America’s Graduates: Demonstrating Consistent Success for Highest-Risk Youth

Here’s something every policymaker concerned about educating and boosting employment for the most at-risk youth should know: there is a program that works.

The Battle for the Middle Class: A Ripon Society National Survey

With the 2016 election upon us, The Ripon Society conducted a national survey to examine the political environment and views of a key part of the American electorate.

Ripon Profile of Elise Stefanik

The Representative of New York’s 21st Congressional District talks about her first job and the lessons she learned from it, her job on Capitol Hill today, and the challenge facing the people she represents that she is working hard to address.

Ripon Profile of Elise Stefanik

Ripon Profile of Elise StefanikName: Elise M. Stefanik

Occupation: Proud Representative of New York’s 21st District in the House of Representatives

First job & lesson learned from it: Growing up in my family’s small business, Premium Plywood Products, the first job I can remember doing is helping my Mom and Dad with filing at the office, as well as answering phones (no more than two rings was the rule!). On the day after Thanksgiving each year, I would help organize the coupon mailing for the annual holiday discount to our hundreds of loyal customers. In high school, I also worked part time during the school year and summers in retail at Old Navy and became lead register during the holiday season and head of the Sunday weekly cleaning crew with the title of “Captain Clean.”  These early jobs helped me understand that “no job is too small,” which I think every business owner and entrepreneur understands. I work to instill this value in my Congressional office.

Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: Instilled by my Mom and teachers growing up, my love of reading has been an important part of my life. I frequently post what I’m reading on Instagram (@EliseStefanik) and have loyal followers who seem to look forward to my recommendations. And I love their feedback. In 2015, one of the highlights of my reading list was Champlain’s Dreams: The European Founding of North America by David Hackett Fisher. It is an incredibly vivid history of Champlain’s discovery and commitment to the settlement of North America — much of it set in my district NY-21!  Currently I am working through Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels (I just finished Book 3!) which have captured the literary world by storm. They are excellent.

Top issue(s) in America that no one is talking about: Rural broadband. In my district, one of the main concerns is access to rural broadband. In order to have access to compete in the 21st century economy, you have to be connected. Rural broadband should be viewed as part of our nation’s fundamental infrastructure.

Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: I continue to focus on economic growth and job creation in my district. We have growing sectors such as tourism, clean tech start-ups, agriculture, trade with Canada, medical device manufacturers and transportation parts manufacturers to name a few — but we need to promote federal policies such as tax reform and regulatory reform to allow and encourage these sectors to grow.

Finish this sentence: “If I could reform any agency or department in the federal government, it would be…” Every federal agency and department needs to be reformed. I am the youngest Member currently serving in Congress and part of my goal is to rethink the way government works by bringing positive, disruptive solutions that provide more transparency, accessibility, efficiency and accountability across the federal government. Let’s start at the VA so our nation’s heroes get the care, benefits and services they have earned.